Cruelty and Companionship: Conflict in Nineteenth Century by A. James Hammerton
By A. James Hammerton
Cruelty and Companionship is an account of the intimate yet darker facets of marriage in Victorian and Edwardian England. Hammerton attracts upon formerly unpublished fabric from the files of the divorce courtroom and magistrates' courts to problem many renowned perspectives approximately altering kin styles. His findings open an extraordinary window onto the sexual politics of lifestyle and the regimen tensions which conditioned marriage in center and dealing type households. utilizing modern proof starting from prescriptive texts and public debate to autobiography and fiction, Hammerton examines the serious public scrutiny which followed the regimen publicity of marital breakdown, and charts a growing to be critique of men's behaviour in marriage which more and more demanded law and reform. The serious discourse which resulted, starting from paternalist to feminist, casts new gentle at the origins and trajectory of 19th century feminism, felony swap and our figuring out of the altering expression of masculinity.
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Additional resources for Cruelty and Companionship: Conflict in Nineteenth Century Married Life (1995)
55 More intriguing, though, is its coupling of condemnation of London workers with justifications of violence against wives whose moral or domestic duty fell short of respectable standards, where husbands had no legal recourse against them. Middle-class outrage against wife assault, in this sense, continued to be qualified by acceptance that it could still be men’s ultimate legitimate sanction against recalcitrant wives. Such pronouncements reflect a wider intention to cultivate images of respectable working-class manhood, where gender and family relations, as well as political behaviour, were central.
79 These sources, originating from working-class men themselves, though far from conclusive, do bring us somewhat closer to their own perceptions than do the politically inspired attacks of the conservative press. 80 His advice is pertinent to the anxiety evident here stemming from men’s private behaviour. There were dear contradictions embodied between the discourse of domestic harmony and the more private lived experience of working-class men imbued with notions of self-improvement and respectability during an important transitional period.
It is possible, too, that feelings of guilt over treatment of their wives may have been bound up with sentimentality in memories of their mothers. 79 These sources, originating from working-class men themselves, though far from conclusive, do bring us somewhat closer to their own perceptions than do the politically inspired attacks of the conservative press. 80 His advice is pertinent to the anxiety evident here stemming from men’s private behaviour. There were dear contradictions embodied between the discourse of domestic harmony and the more private lived experience of working-class men imbued with notions of self-improvement and respectability during an important transitional period.